HIGHER CONFIDENCE IN PROJECTED PATH OF ALBERTO… The 5PM advisory for Subtropical Storm Alberto has been issued. The “guidance envelope” of model data is now in very good agreement about the future track of the center of Alberto. Maximum sustained winds remain near 50mph and Alberto is clearly in the process of transitioning to a fully tropical storm before landfall. The center of Alberto will cross the northwest Florida coastline at some point in the daytime hours of Monday, most likely.
RAIN HAS STARTED IN THE EAST… A quick check of the radar as of 5PM shows the first band of rain from Alberto moving across Coffee, Covington, Okaloosa, and Santa Rosa counties. It’s now raining (at the moment) in places like Andalusia, Opp, Enterprise, Florala, Laurel Hill, and Crestview. This is the first of many rain bands that will move from east to west across our area in the coming hours before the core of Alberto arrives in the morning.
MONDAY TO BE QUITE WET… We ended up being much drier than forecast today across south Alabama and northwest Florida. Yes, rain is moving in from the east, but overall, most of us have been dry so far. That will not be the case for many of us on Memorial Day Monday as the core of Alberto approaches, ushering in very high levels of Gulf moisture and keeping rain in place for a good chunk of the day across our region.
LOCAL IMPACTS UPDATE/REVIEW…
FLASH FLOODING RISK, ESPECIALLY EAST OF THE CENTER… There will be a significant flash flooding/heavy rain risk due to Alberto. The good news is much of southwest Alabama has been taken out of the HIGH risk zone and placed in a lower risk category, although there still is at least some risk of flash flooding for the entire area. Clearly, based on the latest track guidance, the eastern flank of our local area will have the greatest rain amounts and flash flooding potential. This means if you’re in Destin, Niceville, Fort Walton Beach, Miramar Beach, Freeport, Geneva, Dothan, Enterprise, Troy, Greenville, Andalusia, Opp, Florala, Elba, or Abbeville, you now have the greatest risk of flash flooding over the next few days. The threat levels have been lowered, but are still significant, for Brewton, Flomaton, Atmore, Pensacola, Milton, Monroeville, Mobile, Thomasville, Jackson, Chatom, Butler, the Eastern Shore, Foley, Orange Beach, and surrounding areas.
TORNADO POTENTIAL… The tornado risk will be highest over the next 24 hours in southeast Alabama and the Florida Panhandle to the east of Destin. For southwest Alabama and northwest Florida, the tornado risk will be much lower than previously suggested. There still will be a low-end tornado risk for Escambia (FL), Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Escambia (AL), Monroe, Conecuh, Butler, Covington, Crenshaw, and southeast Alabama counties (in addition to southwest Georgia and the Florida Panhandle), but overall, our tornado risk is much lower since the core of Alberto will pass to our east, putting us on the “better” west side of the circulation.
TROPICAL STORM WARNING CONTINUES… In addition to southern Mobile & Baldwin counties, and ALL of northwest Florida, the local weather service office has added Escambia (AL), Covington, Crenshaw, and all of the Wiregrass counties into a Tropical Storm Warning. This is being done primarily since winds could gust to around 40 miles per hour as the core of Alberto moves by. Winds will clearly be greatest near the beaches and coastal areas and overall much less in inland areas.
I’ll have plenty more updates this evening in the RedZone Weather app. My next Facebook Live video will happen between 8PM and 9PM. Have a nice evening!